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Festive fails: When holiday family photos go hilariously wrong

Sometimes, all a mom wants for the holidays is a good photo of her family to send out as a holiday card.

Is that too much to ask? Some kids say yes.

Halle Ingram, a Mississippi mom, purchased an adorable personalized Christmas dress for a holiday photo shoot with her 2-year-old daughter. Cici was having none of it.

"She was more than unwilling to take pictures this year," Ingram told TODAY Parents. "She stuffed her mouth with a candy cane and refused to move from that pose."

Halle Ingram/Jilly Kay Photography
Halle Ingram's daughter, Cici, was not in the mood for Christmas photos this year.

Ingram says her photographer tried several tactics to persuade Cici to smile for a photo, but had no luck.

Sometimes those photo fails turn into treasured memories. Dana Kamp says she and her family will be forever amused by her sons' pained smiles in a Christmas photo from a few years ago.

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"I was in the hospital, so my mom took my four boys to a local Christmas photo shoot so we'd have a nice picture for our cards," the Florida mom said of the photo, which shows three of her boys flashing forced smiles, and the fourth looking terrified. "We couldn't stop laughing."

Dana Kamp/Bill Thompson
Dana Kamp says her mom took her four sons to a photo shoot to help her get a photo for her Christmas cards. The result still has them laughing.

California mom Deva Dalporto gave in during her Christmas photo shoot last year, allowing her kids to argue and act as crazy as they pleased during part of the shoot.

"Every year, getting the perfect holiday picture for our card is a nightmare — I have to bribe and yell and nothing goes as planned," said Dalporto. "So this year, I decided to just go with it and share what really happens when we're trying to take a family photo."

Deva Dalporto/Aaron Fagerstrom
Deva Dalporto says letting her family get real resulted in one of her favorite holiday cards ever.

"I think it's actually my favorite card we've ever made," Dalporto added.

It's not always the kids that cause a family photo fail — sometimes it's the weather.

New Hampshire photographer Brenna Jennings recently captured a windy moment during a photo shoot with clients. Jennings says some of her favorite shots are authentic moments like these.

Brenna Jennings Photography
Photographer Brenna Jennings captured this windy day photo during a shoot with some of her clients.

Jennings advises her clients to let loose and enjoy their shoot, as this often makes for the best photos.

"I think the toughest shoots only happen when a family has certain expectations," said Jennings. "That two-week-old infant isn't going to open her eyes and smile just because the rest of you are — no matter how many times I squeak her rubber giraffe — and that's okay. That's her right now, and she's a keeper."

Check out this slide show for more examples of hilarious holiday photo fails submitted to TODAY Parents.

  • Slideshow Photos

    Adrea Garza / Laura Eckel Photography

    16 of the best holiday card fails

    Just in time for holidays, check out these hysterical family holiday card outtakes.

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    Jules Megill Photography
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    Courtesy of Rachel Ellsworth/Sarah Frasure
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    Courtesy of Jennifer Swartvagher
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    Courtesy of Nicole Johnson
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    Courtesy of Kate Griffin
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    Kristen Fitzgerald Photography
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    Courtesy of Cassie Hilt
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    Polly Wall Photography
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    Courtesy Shannon Renfro
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    Laura Eckel Photography
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    Portraits of Grace Photography
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    Sarah Boutte Photography
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    Courtesy of Lindsey Fancy
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    Courtesy of Laura Hamilton
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    Amber Lee Photography

Whether you choose to embrace the funny, crazy photo of your family this year, or decide to hold out for one that's perfectly posed, we've rounded up some of our favorite card-makers with holiday deals.

These items were hand-picked by our editorial team because we love them, and we hope you do, too. TODAY has affiliate relationships, so we may get a small share of the revenue from your purchases. Items are sold by the retailer, not by TODAY.

1. Minted

Now through November 21, score holiday cards from Minted for 15% off using code BEMERRY.

2. Zazzle

Coupon code FIFTYOFFDEAL gets you 15% off on Zazzle through November 16.

3. Snapfish

Snapfish is offering 40% off site wide through November 17 with coupon code JINGLE40.

Need to do some holiday shopping, too? Check out TODAY's ultimate gift guide here.

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